WISCONSINREPORT.COM (12/3/07) - The United States Department of Defense has announced the alert of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 32nd Brigade Combat Team to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Wisconsin’s 32nd Brigade and similar brigades from two other states will have a security force mission and be assigned tasks which the defense department says will assure freedom of movement and continuity of operations. Tasks will include base defense and route security in Iraq and Kuwait. Deployment is to begin in the summer of 2009. They are receiving alert orders now to provide maximum time to complete preparations.
The Defense Department suggests that the advance alerts provides a greater measure of predictability for family members and flexibility for employers to plan for military service of their employees.
The 32nd Brigade’s soldiers were notified of the alert over the past weekend when most of them were attending their scheduled weekend drills.
The 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team has an authorized strength of about 3,450 soldiers. The brigade has units in 36 Wisconsin communities:
Headquarters and Headquarters Co. — Camp Douglas
1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery
Headquarters and Headquarters Battery — Wisconsin Rapids
Battery A — Marshfield
Battery B — Stevens Point
2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry
Headquarters and Headquarters Co. (-) — Appleton
Det. 1, Headquarters Co. — Clintonville
Company A (-) — Waupun
Det. 1, Co. A — Ripon
Company B — Green Bay
Company C — Fond du Lac
Company D — Marinette
1st Battalion, 128th Infantry
Headquarters and Headquarters Co. (-) — Eau Claire
Det. 1, Headquarters Co. — Abbottsford
Company A — Menomonie
Company B (-) — New Richmond
Det. 1, Co. B — Rice Lake
Company C (-) — Arcadia
Det. 1, Co. C — Onalaska
Company D — River Falls
132nd Brigade Support Battalion
Headquarters and Headquarters Co. — Portage
Company A (-) (Distro) — Janesville
Det. 1, Co. A — Elkhorn
Company B (Maint) — Mauston
Company C (Med) — Milwaukee
Company D (-) (FSC) — Baraboo
Det. 1, Co. D — Madison
Company E (-) (FSC) — Waupaca
Det. 1, Co. E — Appleton
Company F (-) (FSC) — Neillsville
Det. 1, Co. F — Eau Claire
Company G (-) (FSC) — Mosinee
Det. 1, Co. G — Wisconsin Rapids
Brigade Special Troops Battalion
Headquarters and Headquarters Co. (-) — Wausau
Det. 1, Headquarters Co. — Merrill
Company A (Engineer) — Onalaska
Company B (Military Intelligence) — Madison
Company C (Signal) — Antigo
105th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron
Headquarters Troop — Madison
Troop A — Fort Atkinson
Troop B — Watertown
Troop C — Reedsburg
Many of the 32nd Brigade’s units have been previously mobilized in the six years since
September 11, 2001. Previously mobilized 32nd Brigade units include:
- 1st Battalion, 128th Infantry (Iraq service from June 2004 to November 2005)
- 32nd Brigade Headquarters (Kuwait service from June 2005 to July 2006)
- 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry (Kuwait and Iraq service from June 2005 to August 2006)
- 1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery (Kuwait and Iraq service from August 2005 to
- 105th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron (formerly 2nd
Battalion, 128th Infantry, with Kuwait service from August 2005 to November 2006)
- Company A, 132nd Brigade Support Battalion (a one-year mission in Afghanistan
beginning November 2005)
- Company B, Brigade Special Troops Battalion (formerly the 232nd Military Intelligence Company with Afghanistan service from November 2005 to January 2007).
One 32nd Brigade unit — Troop E, 105th Cavalry — is currently deployed to Iraq through May 2008. This unit will no longer exist when the Troop E soldiers return from their mobilization, and the soldiers will be reassigned to other 32nd Brigade units.
The 32nd Brigade Combat Team is descended from the 32nd “Red Arrow” Division, an infantry organization formed of Wisconsin and Michigan Guardsmen serving in Texas in 1916. During its World War I service the division earned its distinctive insignia, a vertical red arrow through a horizontal red bar, by piercing every enemy line it encountered in four World War I campaigns.
The Red Arrow Division was mobilized again in October 1940 before the U.S. entered World War II; played a key role in capturing Buna, a strategic enemy stronghold in Papua New Guinea, n 1943; and logged a total of 654 days in combat — more than any other U.S. Army division in any war.
In October 1961, President John F. Kennedy called the division to federal service during the Berlin Crisis; the unit served until August 1962 at Fort Lewis, Wash., before returning to Wisconsin.
In 1967, the 32nd Division — by then made up entirely of Wisconsin units — was deactivated and reorganized as the 32nd Separate Infantry Brigade.